Continuants and occurrents, I

[Peter Simons] Commonsense ontology contains both continuants and occurrents, but are continuants necessary? I argue that they are neither occurrents nor easily replaceable by them. The worst problem for continuants is the question in virtue of what a given continuant exists at a given time. For such truthmakers we must have recourse to occurrents, those vital to the continuant at that time. Continuants are, like abstract objects, invariants under equivalences over occurrents. But they are not abstract, and their being invariants enables us to infer both their lack of temporal parts and that non-invariant predications about them must be relativized to times. \\\ [Joseph Melia] In this paper I try to eliminate occurrents from our ontology. I argue against Simons' position that occurrents are needed to supply truthmakers for existential claims about continuants. Nevertheless, those who would eliminate occurrents still need some account of our willingness to assert sentences that logically entail their existence. Though it turns out to be impossible to paraphrase away our reference to occurrents, I show that the truthmakers for such sentences are facts that involve only continuants. This is enough to allow us to regard our ordinary talk about occurrents as fictional. Finally, I argue that a proper conception of the underlying temporal facts about continuants can both avoid the problematic tensed theory of time and the problem of temporary intrinsics
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1467-8349.00063
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ian Gibson & Oliver Pooley (2006). Relativistic Persistence. Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):157–198.
Jiri Benovsky (2009). Presentism and Persistence. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):291-309.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

80 ( #60,613 of 1,924,699 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #187,020 of 1,924,699 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.